Asia on alert ahead of Christmas as police foil two bomb plots

Updated: Dec 24, 2016, 12:45 IST | Agencies

Security forces across Asia were on alert yesterday ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, as the police in Australia and Indonesia said they had foiled bomb plots and Malaysian security forces arrested suspected militants

Jakarta/Bangkok: Security forces across Asia were on alert yesterday ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, as the police in Australia and Indonesia said they had foiled bomb plots and Malaysian security forces arrested suspected militants.

The Australian police said they had prevented attacks on prominent sites in Melbourne on Christmas Day that authorities described as “an imminent terrorist event” inspired by the Islamic State.

The announcement came after the attack in Berlin’s Christmas market.

In Indonesia, where IS’s first attack in Southeast Asia killed four in Jakarta in January, at least 14 people were being interrogated over suspected suicide bomb plots targeting the presidential palace in Jakarta and another undisclosed location, the police said.

Anti-terrorism police killed three in a gunfight on Wednesday on the outskirts of Jakarta.

“The focus is against terrorism, especially in Jakarta and Bali, because these are the traditional targets,” Indonesia police chief Tito Karnavian said.

In Lahore, where 72 people were killed in an Easter Day bombing targeting Christians this year, the police said 2,000 Muslim volunteers had been trained to help with security.

“A three-layer security will be arranged around every church in Lahore,” said Haider Ashraf, city’s deputy inspector general of police.

85k
Number of police personnel Indonesia will deploy for Christmas and New Year

300
Number of volunteers from Nahdlatul Ulama to join cops in overseeing security

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